Insalta di Mare
Seafood Salad sounds a little crazy when you think about it. It is basically a salad of cooked fish that has been marinated in a white wine broth and then chilled for hours. It is definitely not your typical go to Saturday night salad, but it is definitely a salad that you should add to your repertoire in the summer months. I say the summer months because majority of the fish used is in season and won’t cost you an arm and a leg (the fish for me totaled around $40 from Whole Foods).
There are plenty of variations to this salad, but what I liked most about this recipe was how light in flavor it was along with it having a non-fishy taste or smell. There were nice citrus undertones from the orange and lemon, which rounded out nicely from the wine and garlic. I am firm believer that wine makes anything taste better and in this case it definitely worked it magic. Believe or not, the seafood added a hint of sweetness that was unexpected but tasted amazing, especially with the lobster.
This is a great summer salad that is sure to impress even the faintest of seafood lovers. Did I mention it looks really pretty? My boyfriend was quite skeptical before his first bite since he believes everything should be served scalding hot. In the end, he loved it so much that he ate majority of the salad himself. I was lucky to get a bite or two in.
Ingredients: Yields about 5-6 one cup servings
- 2 c. white wine
- 1 1/2 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 qrts. water
- 1 Lemon, juiced
- ½ lb. Fresh mussels, cleaned & de-bearded
- ½ lb. Fresh Bay Scallops
- 2 – 4 oz. Fresh Lobster tails, cooked and cubed
- 2 lbs. Fresh Octopus (will shrink by 1/2 when cooked) (optional)
- 1 lb. Fresh Medium Shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 1 lb. Fresh Calamari, cleaned and cut into rings
- 1 lb. Fresh Clump Crabmeat (optional)
- 1/2 c. Julienned Carrots
- 1/2 c. Julienned Onions
- 1/2 c. Julienned Celery
- 1/2 c. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 c. Chopped Garlic
- 1/2 c. chopped Parsley Leaves
- 1 c. Lemon Segments
- 1 c. Orange Juice
- 1 c. Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive oil
I cooked my seafood a little different than the original recipe posted on foodnetwork.com by Bobby Flay. I opted not to use the octopus and crab since I couldn’t find any at my local market, which cut down the marinating and cooking time immensely. Plus, octopus really isn’t one of my favorite fishes to eat, so it really wasn’t missed.
I brought the white wine, peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaves, water, and lemon juice to a boil in a large pot over medium high heat on the stove and then lowered the temperature to a simmer. Since each fish is cooked at different times, I simmered them all separately following the below times:
- Lobster Tail – I skewered so the meat cooked without curling for 7-8 minutes. I removed from the broth and allowed to cool in a separate bowl in the refrigerator.
- Bay Scallops – I simmered for about 2 minutes (depending on size) and then removed to cool in a separate bowl to chill in the refrigerator.
- Shrimp – I used large tiger shrimp for the recipe and simmered them for about 5 minutes. These were quite large, so if you are using smaller ones, follow the original recipe below. I then removed it from the heat and chilled it in the refrigerator.
- Calamari – simmer for 3 minutes and then remove and chill in the refrigerator.
- Mussels – (Before cooking, clean any “beards” off the mussels as well as look over the mussels carefully. The mussels should be tightly closed. Discard any mussels with cracked shells. If you see a mussel that is open, tap it gently against the counter; in a live mussel, this will trigger a reaction to close its shell. If the mussel doesn’t close, it has died and should be discarded. Also discard any mussels that don’t open after cooking). In a separate pot, add about 1 ½ c. of the broth. Bring to a boil and then add the mussels. You want just enough liquid that they are not submerged, but enough to steam them. Remove and chill in the refrigerator.
Using the same water, parboil the carrots, onions, and celery for 1 minute. Drain and cool the vegetables.
Mix the seafood, vegetables, lemon segments and orange/lemon juice in a large bowl and marinate them for at least 12 hours before serving. Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste, and then garnish with fresh chopped parsley when serving and some lemon wedges. Best served cold.
You can read more about this recipe here: FoodNetwork.com